Search for body of missing canoeist continues

Mounties and volunteers continue to search for the body of a man who went missing on the Yukon River near Dawson City earlier this month.

Mounties and volunteers continue to search for the body of a man who went missing on the Yukon River near Dawson City earlier this month.

On July 7, Dawson City RCMP received a call about a capsized canoe and a missing paddler. The RCMP, members of the Klondike Search and Rescue Association and the Tr’ondek Hwech’in used helicopters and boats to search the area. Poor weather and high water levels hampered the mission.

The missing canoeist was last seen 100 km south of Dawson City and was wearing a life jacket. The second paddler survived the accident. The missing man was visiting a relative who lived in the area. The names of the two individuals have not been released.

“Technically speaking, the search went excellent,” said John Mitchell, president of the Klondike Search and Rescue Association. All individuals and agencies involved worked well together and searched every possible area, he said.

The official search included five boats with two or three searchers on board. Helicopters were used early in the mission.

While incidents like this don’t happen often, Mitchell said they emphasize the importance of wearing life jackets and realizing how unpredictable rivers can be. The canoeists were “not greenhorns,” said Mitchell. An axe was found securely strapped inside the recovered canoe.

The search for the body will continue this week.

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